Canopic News 2016


December 31, 2016

The final addition to the Canopic Jar Featured Voices for 2016 is poet Kobus Moolman, the recipient of the 2015 Glenna Luscehi Prize for African Poetry for his collection A Book of Rooms (deep south).  We hope you’ll visit his poems and further investigate the wealth of his published works.


December 16, 2016

The Canopic Jar Presidential Suite is given a tremendous start with “Longest night approaching,” a poem by Marge Piercy. While it may sound hyperbolic, Marge is one of the most respected contemporary poetic voices, so we at Canopic Jar admit to taking more than a little pride in being able to share her poignant offering.  And the Presidential Suite is just beginning …




December 05, 2016

Dr. Jas. O’Phelan, author of In the Wicker Basket under this Fragile Balloon (Canopic 2017), and editor Phil Rice spent the weekend talking old times, new times, and times that forever be. The two old friends have never been at a loss for entertaining conversation, whether at the Hermitage Hotel lounge in downtown Music City in the 1980s, walking the woods of Jim’s rugged farm in Adams, Tennessee, or more recently in a tiny hospital library in New Albany, Indiana. And there has always been a common muse nearby.

Jim’s book is due early in 2017, and we guarantee it will have a flavor all its own.



November 18, 2016

Pleased to announced the latest Canopic Jar Suite: “Presidential.” As always, the prompt for the Presidential Suite is open to liberal and organic interpretation — wherever the artist takes it or it takes the artist. Further, given the obvious topical nature of this suite, the editors would like to stress that Canopic Jar has been consciously apolitical for 30 years. While the editors and contributors themselves may have specific political affiliations, the journal itself does not. Likewise, this particular suite does not have a political agenda. Selections for inclusion will be based on artistic merit rather than political slant.

We will post contributions as they are accepted by the editors, so the suite will be built gradually, thus giving each piece an opportunity to be featured individually as the suite itself evolves. Do keep in mind that there should be something about the piece that reflects the prompt “Presidential.” How it reflects it is up to the artist. (Check out some of the other suites for examples of the concept.)



November 14, 2016

A Birthday in Niagara Falls” from 2012 is re-posted today to celebrate the birthday of Janice Rice, the subject of Phil Rice’s Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice. A slightly revised version of the essay serves as  Chapter One in the memoir.



November 13, 2016

Phil and Virginia had a blast manning the Canopic Publishing table at the 2016 Chicago Book Expo. Rethabile Masilo’s Letter to Country, Will Kern’s Ballet for Guys, and Jeff Bumpus’s Becoming Taz generated lots of conversation if not sales, but that was the main purpose: getting the Canopic name out within the the industry. Many thanks to all who support our continuing effort.



November 03, 2016

In the autumn of 1986, Canopic Jar #2 entered the world. Among the dozen or so poets included, one stood out in the eyes of every reader. Rethabile Masilo, at that time enrolled at Maryville College, had sent four poems, all of which were included in the Jar. The Canopic Jar founders (P.A. Merrill and Phil Rice), who had met while attending that same institution,  agreed that receiving and printing the Masilo poems were indications that Canopic Jar was alive.

Now, thirty years later, Canopic Publishing is very proud to present Letter to Country to the world. Rethabile’s third poetry collection to find publication, Letter to Country was edited by poet Virginia Smith Rice and boasts a cover design by Moldova’s Georges Stratan. It’s a damn fine bit of work.



October 25, 2016

Approximately 31 years ago this month, in a dank smoke-filled room in his house on Old Hickory Lake (any room with Merrill was smoke-filled), P.A. Merrill and Phil Rice came up with the concept for something they called Canopic Jar. The first print issue would appear the following spring. It’s been an organic event ever since.

Stuck in the Script” by P.A. Merrill was originally published in CJ#7, 1998. In recognition of Canopic’s 30 years, we now add the poem to Canopic Jar Suite: Film.



October 19, 2016

Our latest Featured Voice is poet Suzanne Lummis. In addition to the five poems included here, there are live links in her bio. We recommended checking them out, and exploring any other places that feature her work.



September 18, 2016

The Avante Garde of the Backyard,”  fine slice of prose by Charles Pinning, joins Canopic Jar Suite: Film



September 14, 2016

Blake Leland’s “Lovers, Romania, 1975” joins Canopic Jar Suite: On the Train. The poem features a photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson.



August 24, 2016

When Canopic Jar launched its “Featured Voices” in 2014, one of our first picks was Dawn Promislow. Dawn had contributed to an earlier numbered issue (#27) and has since contributed to a couple of the CJ Suites. There is no contesting that she ranks among CJ’s most popular contributors–and we’ve been sharing art for 30 years now.

This week we are pleased to add “What I want” to her Featured Voice selection. And thus we open the door to a new concept: once a Featured Voice is established, we are glad to add additional work or news to the page. So if you are an existing Featured Voice, feel free to make use of this latest nod to the world of organic art.

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August 12, 2016

Longtime Canopic associate Tim Pfau adds two fine poems, “Carrying Alfredo Garcia” and “Chivalry,” to Canopic Jar Suite: Film. In Tim’s case “film” is pure cinema—or is it?  Enjoy!

tim pfau


July 20, 2016

Canopic’s Phil Rice has had a string of radio interviews of late, all centered on his recently published Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice. If you missed the live broadcasts you can hear the audio files on Phil’s Audiovisual page.



July 01, 2016

Apology to Leon Spinks” by Daniel Holland invigorates the Canopic sponsored Poetics of Prizefighting page.



June 19, 2016

Canopic’s Rethabile Masilo at a reading celebrating the publication of to kingdom come: voices against political violence, an anthology edited by Rethabile and published by The Onslaught Press.


June 12, 2016

Dr. Joe Schwarcz interviews Canopic’s Phil Rice, author of Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice, on Montreal’s CJAD-AM 800:


June 8, 2016

Poet Robert E. Wood joins the Canopic Jar Featured Voices with the splendid “Inclinations” plus an interview with Canopic’s Rethabile Masilo.

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June 6, 2016

David Greenberger, a longtime Canopic favorite and a Featured Voice, has a new CD set to be released on June 17th. “Take Me Where I Don’t Know I Am” features Keith Spring, Dinty Child, and Keiichi Hashimoto providing superb musical backing for Greenberger, who gives voice to the words of elderly friends he has met along the way. This is art at its finest. You’ll dig it.



June 2, 2016

Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice continues to make its way into the world. This has necessitated a careful watch on the author’s web presence, so you might notice considerable reconstruction at We are also adding more audio-visual elements to the publishing site and to the Jar, so please feel free to send ideas to



May 17, 2016

With the publication of Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice come the warm remembrances of the ways so many folks shared that difficult journey with us. “Here’s the Thing,” a poem by Ciretta M. Carroll that originally appeared in CJ #25, is a wonderful example of that compassionate sharing. Thank you Ciretta, for being such a nourishing part of the story.



May 9, 2016

Canopic Jar has always seen itself as an arts journal. Our primary contributions are literary, but we’ve never set strict boundaries. In fact, we encourage the inclusion of other media. In that vein we present songwriter Paul Teerlinck, our latest Featured Voice.



April 24, 2016

As part of Canopic Jar’s 30th Anniversary celebration, Canopic Publishing is very pleased to announce the coming publication of Letter to Country, a poetry collection by CJ’s own Rethabile Masilo. This will be Ret’s third book, following in the wake of the popular Things that Are Silent (Pindrop 2012) and Waslap (Onslaught 2015). Letter to Country is set to be released this summer.



March 31, 2016

Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice by Phil Rice is now available at online retail outlets around the world–as well as directly from Canopic Publishing.



March 20, 2016

We’ve now started Canopic Jar Suite: Film. As this is the 30th anniversary year for CJ, we’re kicking the “Film” suite off with a contribution that harkens back to the earliest Jar ventures. Music was closely aligned with Canopic Jar in those Nashville days, and the first live show was a fine mix of poetry and music. Inspired by David Greenberger/Terry Adams collaborations of spoken word and music, my brother Hal and I once spent a day recording various poems (me) and instrumental jams (him) in his home studio. When it was done we called it Canopic Jar #6. Unfortunately that recording is lost to history (at least as far as we know), but recently we put together a similar collaboration. The poem is from 2013; the song, both music and lyrics, was recorded around 1996. They are different yet share a common mood. Hope you enjoy. –PR



March 14, 2016

We are pleased to announce that the popular Geoffrey Philp, whose poetry has graced Canopic Jar in various incarnations, returns as a Featured Voice. Geoffrey has offered five poems culled from three of his published collections.



March 13, 2016

Canopic Jar Suite: On The Train  is rejuvenated with “Juana,” a splendid poem by Lorraine Caputo.

L Caputo -- Profile photo


March 08, 2016

Pleased to include “Taps,” a poem by Charles O’Hay, in Canopic Jar Suite: Generation.



March 01, 2016

Will Kern‘s web series Billy Jim’s Guide to the Ballet continues to build an audience on YouTube, and along the way the series is introducing readers to his novel Ballet for Guys (Canopic 2016). It’s an entertaining cycle indeed.



February 14, 2016

The Canopic Sharing Page continues to be a growing resource. This past week “White” by Mark Strand was added, complete with a Phil Rice reading.

collected strand


February 6, 2016

Pleased to announce that Greg Kosmicki joins the Canopic Jar Featured Voices with five poems.

Greg Kosmicki thumb


January 21, 2016

Ballet for Guys, a novel by Will Kern (Canopic 2016) is available in both print and eBook format through Amazon and other outlets. Check it out, and if you dig it—we’re pretty sure you will—please spread the word (a 5-star rating on Amazon is always nice.) For anyone wanting a signed copy, Mr. Kern is still in Texas for a little longer before heading back to South Korea, so if you buy a copy direct from Canopic we can still make that happen. Best hurry though.



January 08, 2016

We are proud to announce the official publication of Ballet for Guys, a novel by Will Kern (Canopic 2016). In conjunction with this announcement comes the news that author Kern will be at Profiles Theatre in Chicago at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 10, for a book launch and reading.



January 01, 2016

The Canopic Jar Featured Voice introducing 2016 is the superb poet Jumoke Verissimo. We’re very taken by her creative energy and poetic talents, and we’re confident that our readers will share our exuberance. Alongside her five poems is an interview conducted by CJ’s Rethabile Masilo.